April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

This post is also available in: Spanish

Earth Day is honored around the world on April 22, although larger events such as festivals and rallies are often organized for the weekends before or after April 22.

When you think about Earth Day, do you think about environmental issues such as pollution? Well do you know there are simple steps that you can take in your home to reduce your environmental footprint.  Yes, the best place to start making a difference is right in your own home.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Consider having a home energy audit. An audit can discover issues such as air leaks, lack of pipe insulation and many other issues that leads to energy over-usage and that may cause other health hazards. For more information, contact your local providers.
  • Save energy at home. Choose energy-saving appliances if they’re available. Look for Energy Star!
  • Buy products that contain minimal amounts, or no, hazardous ingredients. Use alternative methods or products – without hazardous ingredients – for common household needs, such as making a household cleaning solution from 1 cup of warm water, 3 drops of vegetable-based liquid soap, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
  • Products that contain hazardous ingredients should, if they can’t be replaced with products without hazardous ingredients, be used and stored properly to prevent accidents in the home.
  • Keep hazardous products in their original containers, and never remove labels. Never store hazardous products in food containers.  Corroding containers of hazardous products may require special handling. Call your local hazardous materials official or fire department for instructions.
  • Properly store any unused paint for future use, donate unused paint to neighbors or charities, or turn in your used paint to a waste collection facility for recycling.
  • Recycle or safely dispose of hazard-household waste.
  • Recycle used electronics at a certified electronics recycler; see http://e-stewards.org/ or www.r2solutions.org/ to locate them.
  • If your community has a used-electronics collection program, ask if it uses a certified recycler to ensure that the equipment is recycled safely.

To learn more about Earth Day and local activities visit www.epa.gov/earthday/.

To learn more about HUD’s sustainability efforts, visit http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/sustainable_housing_communities.

To learn more about HUD’s healthy homes efforts, visit www.hud.gov/offices/healthyhomes.

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